Gisagara - The Minister of Lands and Environment has advised residents and local authorities in Gisagara District to take advantage of Akanyaru swamp to improve on their welfare.
Kamanzi was speaking, last Saturday, in Mukindo Sector, Gisagara District, during celebrations to mark the Nile Basin Day.
Akanyaru swamp, which is commonly shared by seven sectors in Gisagara District, is mainly used to grow maize, sorghum and rice.
The Minister urged the local residents to shift from traditional agriculture to modern methods farming.
He clarified that the Nile Basin Initiative Cooperative Framework does not bar the use of Nile waters by residents living on the river banks as long as the water is used responsibly.
“There is no agreement that prevents our population from using the water...of course in a good way,” Kamanzi noted.
Leandres Karekezi, the recently re-elect Gisagara Mayor, acknowledged that the marshland was being underutilised, but pointed to the Nile Basin Initiative agreement as one of the stumbling block.
Five upstream countries- Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda- have already signed the agreement on the use of the Nile’s water and its tributaries.
Four other countries are yet to sign the agreement.
Annually on February 22 the nine countries celebrate the Nile Basin Day.
This year, the day was marked under the theme “All together for better cooperation.”
During the event, authorities joined residents of Mukindo sector to plant bamboo alongside Akanyaru River.